Could Eating Kale (But Also Broccoli And Cabbage) Actually Be Bad For You?

October 4, 2017


We all know that kale is undoubtedly one of the healthiest vegetables our planet has to offer. Kale is proven to be:

  • packed with nutrients
  • loaded with powerful antioxidants
  • excellent source of vitamin c and k
  • good for lowering cholesterol
  • great cancer-fighting food
  • high in beta-carotene
  • good source of minerals
  • high in lutein and zeaxanthin
  • great weight-loss food

However, it seems that eating this veggie without cooking it first might not be such a great idea after all.

(RELATED: Best 7 Day Diet Plan For Weight Loss And Muscle Gain)

The Darks Secret Of Cruciferous Vegetable

Kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage all belong to the same family of veggies – cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are all crunchy and have numerous health benefits, including the ones we mentioned above, however, these vegetables also have a dark secret:

When eaten raw, they can suppress production of Thyroid – the hormone responsible for regulating your metabolism.

As the study conducted by the Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute suggests, cruciferous vegetables contain two types of harmful compound:

  • Progoitrin – interferes with thyroid hormone synthesis
  • Thiocyanate ions – crowds out the iodine your thyroid needs

But don’t let this scare you more than it should.

Only after eating extremely large amounts of raw kale, broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage, could your body experience hormonal irregularities that lead to fluctuations in blood sugar, weight, and overall metabolic health.

This, of course, shouldn’t scare you away from these veggies altogether, but people who consume raw kale salads raw all the time and in excess, might want to bring it down a notch as they could experience a swelling of the thyroid.

When consumed in reasonable doses, this swelling effect wears off rather quickly and your thyroid remains unharmed, but if you are a raw veggie maniac and tend to eat huge amounts of raw vegetables on a daily basis, you could be in for some serious thyroid trouble.

For example, in 2010 one 88-year-old woman from China ended up in a coma from cabbage-related thyroid dysfunction. Apparently she had been eating over 3 pounds of raw bok choy every day for several months as someone told her she might avoid diabetes that way.

As The Mercury News writes:

“As long as you’re not following an unwisely restrictive diet, your kale consumption won’t harm your thyroid – though it can cause some less serious problems even in smaller doses. Raw vegetables such as kale also have a large amount of indigestible fiber – not ideal for your stomach to handle in large amounts.”

This is why you should stick to the occasional raw kale salad or a superfood raw smoothie every once in a while.

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